Study Interior Design Online Through One of the Best Online Interior Design Schools in 2017

Diving into a career as an interior designer is a fantastic option for creative minds. There is so much flexibility: from living rooms and nurseries to corporate offices. Why not start off that career with the flexibility of online interior design programs?

If you are interested in taking interior design courses online or landing an interior design online degree, we know you want to get that training from the top online interior design schools.

Best Online Interior Design Schools

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Online Interior Design Schools

That is why we have created a ranking of the six best online interior design schools in 2017. All six of these offer unique interior design online courses to match your needs.

When it comes to these interior design online options, students have academic choices from non-degree certificate programs to get their feet wet in the industry all the way to online interior design master’s programs.

No matter which of these interior design schools online you choose, you can feel confident that you will be learning from some of the best interior design courses online in 2017.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Online Interior Design Schools

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the online interior design names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that interior design online degree):

Top 6 Best Online Interior Design Schools | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Interior Design Schools Online

Online Interior Design Programs



Academy of Art University

AA, BFA, Certificate


San Francicso, California
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

AS, BS, Diploma


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
New York School of Interior Design



New York,

New York

Pennfoster College



Scottsdale, Arizona
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design



Denver, Coloardo
Savannah College of Art and Design



Savannah, Georgia

Table: Top 6 Best Interior Design Online Schools | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Why Study Interior Design Online?

Before we get into the best online interior design schools and your options for interior design courses online, let’s see what learning interior design online actually means.

Beyond all licensure and certification needs by state, many interior designers need to get some sort of education.

Some states require this for licensing, some firms require this for employment, and some clients will want this for security and confidence.

The average interior designer makes between $30,617 and $68,117 each year. Of course, the more education you have, the easier it is to climb that scale.

Interior Design Courses Online

Image Source: Interior Design Online

When you choose to fulfill your education requirements in interior design online, you are still getting the vital information you need. But you are doing so in a flexible and sometimes more affordable manner.

With advancement in technology and online communication, it has become easier to work toward a visual art career even through an online school platform. This means online interior design courses are top-notch choices.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Interior Design Courses Online

Below, please find a detailed review of each interior design online school on our list of online interior design programs. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these interior design classes online to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Academy of Art University Review

The first interior design online school on our list of the best online interior design schools is the Academy of Art University. This San Francisco-based academy prides itself on its no-barrier admissions, ethics in art, professional faculty, and community of support.

The Academy of Art’s interior design courses online come together in three distinct undergraduate program choices.

  • Associate of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design: 66 units of design theory, technique, technical skills – great for leading into the BFA
  • Bachelor of Interior Architecture and Design (BFA): 132 units of interior design courses online teaching design, theory, and technology designed to develop intellect, artistry, and ethical abilities for professional careers; includes liberal arts coursework
  • Certificate: 120 units similar to the BFA interior design online degree; no liberal arts coursework required

Outside of their undergraduate programs, Academy of Art University has two graduate interior design online options:

  • Master of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design: These online interior design courses include programming, space planning, site observation, human social and spatial interaction, use of color, use of materials, fixtures, furnishing, business practices, and more
  • Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design: Similar online interior design courses with the addition of a Final Thesis Project

OnlineCollege.org chose the Academy of Art among the best online interior design schools for the following categories:

  • Value
  • Student engagement
  • Library and research support
  • Learning support
  • Faculty credentials
  • New student orientation

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Review

Next up for best online interior design schools in 2017 is The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. If you choose this school to study interior design online, you will have the backing of both national and programmatic accreditation.

Online Interior Design

Image Source: Art Institute of Pittsburgh

As one of the top online interior design schools, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh has three online interior design programs. 

When it comes to interior design online, many of these interior design schools online only offer general interior design. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, however, has one specialized interior design online degree in kitchen and bath.

  • Bachelor of Science in Interior Design: Focuses include problem solving, building systems, communication, professionalism, and interior finish materials in this 180 credit interior design online degree
  • Diploma in Residential Planning: Interior design courses online including interior design history, drafting, space planning, textiles and professionalism in this 36 credit program
  • Associate of Science in Kitchen and Bath Design: Includes interior design online courses on client expectations, design skills, material knowledge practical application, and professionalism

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New York School of Interior Design Review

Of the best online interior design schools, many are not also known for great interior design programs in the traditional sense. But New York School of Interior Design is different.

Going beyond only interior design courses online, the New York School of Interior Design was named the #4 interior design school in the USA by Design School Hub.

While the interior design online division does not offer an official interior design online degree, they have a certificate program that can be used toward an associate of applied science or a bachelor of fine arts degree.

This means it is a great option for somebody who thinks they may want a career in the design world but who wants to try interior design online first.

The Basic Interior Design Certificate includes interior design courses online on topics such as

  • Design concepts
  • Design history
  • Drawing

Though these interior design classes online do not qualify anybody for licensure, they give prospective designers a solid grasp on space planning, color materials, etc.

Pennfoster College Review

Next up for the best online interior design schools is Pennfoster College. Pennfoster focuses on accessible and affordable education in many in-demand fields, including online interior design.

There is one interior design online program at this school: an Associate Degree in Interior Design. Through these interior design courses online, students will learn:

  • Residential and commercial design
  • Interaction of color and implications
  • Drawing techniques
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • Management issues
  • Marketing issues
  • Administrative issues
  • Ethical issues

You can take these interior design classes online at your own pace on your own schedule, making this a great option for busy adults looking to advance their career options in design.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design Review

When it comes to getting a bachelor’s degree, one of the best online interior design schools is the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. This interior design online school is made up of a community of creatives where students come first.

There is only one online interior design program through Rocky Mountain: a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The interior design courses online include teachings on topics such as:

  • Manual drafting
  • Computer aided design
  • Space planning
  • Interior materials
  • Interior systems
  • Environmental and human behavior
  • Lighting design
  • Construction documents
  • Construction contracts
  • Business practices

According to their website, the interior design online degree “follows a strict and logical sequence of specific studio courses, which increase in difficulty over the years, building upon the knowledge and skills acquired from previous courses.”

As one of the top online interior design schools, students also take courses such as composition, math, history, and art history. Outside of their interior design classes online, students are also required to complete a senior-year internship.

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Savannah College of Art and Design Review

The final interior design online option on our list of best online interior design schools is Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Even beyond online interior design, SCAD was named the #1 best interior design school in the USA by Design School Hub.

SCAD is one of two interior design schools online on our ranking that offer graduate-level online interior design programs. In fact, their master’s program is the only online interior design option.

Online Interior Design Courses

Image Source: SCAD

Receiving a Master of Art in Interior Design at SCAD means:

  • You are a part of a collaborative environment
  • You have access to interior design courses online that prepare you for employment
  • You learn artistic theory and culture
  • You learn materiality and function
  • You study the relationship of humans and their environment/objects around them

As one of the top online interior design schools, the Savannah College of Art and Design also helps students prepare for success with:

  • Resume development
  • Mock interviews
  • Tips for self-promotion
  • Portfolio building
  • Assistance finding internships and employment

Conclusion – Top 6 Best Online Interior Design Schools

Now that you know the 2017 top six best online interior design schools, you can start deciding which online interior design programs may be best for you.

Here are a few things to do before studying interior design online with any of these online interior design courses:

  • See the requirements in your state for interior design; this may help you decide which online interior design school you will need to go to
  • See the requirements at all the potential firms you may like to work for; this too can help you decide which interior design online program will help you get there
  • Talk to the counselors about employment opportunities after graduation to see if alumni land the type of jobs you are interested in
  • Go over each program’s interior design online courses to see if they match up with your goals

Then, you will only have to apply to the interior design classes online that work for you. Before you know it, 2017 could be your year to study interior design online through these fabulous interior design courses online.

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